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[137]

William Oliver Stevens.

Captain New York 72d Vols. (Infantry), May 30, 1861; Major, June 25, 1861; Colonel, September 8, 1862; died May 4, 1863, of wounds received at Chancellorsville, Va., May 3.


William Oliver Stevens was son of William Stevens,—formerly a lawyer of Andover, Massachusetts, now Judge of the Police Court in Lawrence,—and of Eliza L. Stevens, daughter of George Watson. His paternal grandfather fought in the battle of Bunker Hill. The patriotism that kindled his blood burnt no less eagerly in that of the descendants, three of whom have fallen in the struggle that has just closed,—William; his brother Gorham, a youth of rare promise; and their cousin, the brave and lamented General I. I. Stevens, who had graduated with especial honors at West Point.

William was born in Belfast, Maine, on the 3d of February, 1828. In preparation for college he entered Phillips Academy at Andover, in 1841, where to this day is left a pleasant reminiscence of the short, thick-set, round-faced boy, quick and active in duty or play, frank in his intercourse, pleasant and genial in his manners,—the type of the man.

More grateful yet is the recollection of him in the minds of his classmates at Cambridge. With a cheery voice, a merry eye, dark hair curling closely over his head, and a countenance open as the day,—the window of a warm heart and generous disposition,—erect in his carriage, frank, unreserved, he at sight won the love of the shy, awkward squad that the first months of college life brought together.

It was an affection that deepened with fellowship; and being of boyish size, he soon became in a peculiar manner the pet of his class. Perhaps this was to his cost, in some ways. Such good company he made of himself, so overflowing was he with life and cheerfulness and all genial qualities, that his time was usurped by his friends: he was allowed but little opportunity

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